Puppies are great. They can melt your heart and turn any monster into a soft marshmallow.
When playing with your puppy, you must have noticed that they bite a lot. Those harmless bites are so cute that you want to play with them all day.
But, think again. Can you feel the same way when you’re puppy behaves like that in a few months from now? Certainly not. That is why it is important to train your puppy to stop biting you and others.
Below are some proven methods that can do the job for you.
Why do Puppies Bite?
Why should puppies bite? They’re fluffy, adorable and everything cute. Why don’t they stop biting so that I can have endless fun with my puppy?
Those are the thoughts of almost much everyone who has a puppy with them.
At a very small age, all those nipping and biting will seem harmless (it is, in most cases). But when they grow strong after a few months, things change. They slowly begin to hurt.
You can’t blame the puppies.
Puppies don’t have arms as we do. The only way they know to look and feel something new is to chew or bite it. See a shoe there, let me chew it first. Is that a ball, better chew it first. Is it your hand, let me bite it please.
Chewing or mouthing is a very normal behavior from puppies. In fact, that is their only way to understand what a thing really is and how it would interact with it.
So it would come naturally to a puppy to chew your fingers or bite your hand. In its defense, it is trying to play with you, and that is totally normal.
As a good dog owner, it is your responsibility to train your puppy. So how to stop puppies from biting you ask? That’s easy. Read on.
How to Stop Puppy Biting?
Training your puppy not to bite is very easy, and there are several methods to achieve desired results. Some methods are simple while some might take a lot more of your time.
Before we go any further, do you know that a lot of puppies, just a few months old, are returned by their families? The reason is bad behavior. If you train your puppy well and teach it to control its mouthing, then everybody will be happy.
Bite inhibition (The Mother’s Technique)
Bite Inhibition is the keyword here. It is nothing but making your puppies control their biting and biting pressure. This technique is used by the mother of the puppy and hence the name.
Puppies know only one way to play, and that involves a lot of mouthing. But when it does the same with the mother, the results are different.[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”250″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#e0e0e0″ txt_color=”#0a0a0a”]If You don’t play nice, then there is no play![/mks_pullquote]
When the puppy bites, the mother gives out a squeal and startles the puppy. The puppy stops what it does and then resumes play after some time.
If the puppy doesn’t stop and continues to bite, the mother gives out a growl and gives the puppy a shake by grabbing it by the scruff of the neck. This is sure to teach the puppy a lesson. If you don’t play nice, then there is no play!
How to teach a puppy not to bite using this technique?
Whenever your puppy bites you hard try letting out a high-pitched squeal, say something like “Ouch!” The puppy should be shocked with that sound and will stop biting at once. Use this opportunity and fold your hands and turn away. Neglect the puppy for about 30 seconds and then resume play.
This should tell the puppy that biting hard will suspend play. Every puppy wants to play so this will slowly begin to reflect in his behavior.
If your puppy doesn’t respond to the squeal, then go to step 2. Hold him by the neck (gently) and give a gentle shake. Puppies usually don’t like this which should force them to stop biting hard.
This is the simplest yet the most effective method to stop your puppy from biting.
It is a general recommendation always to adopt a puppy which is at least 10 weeks old. The reason is that it gets to play with its mother and littermates and learn a bit of bite inhibition.
Everything we’ve discussed in the above topic happens naturally in this case and the puppy is trained better to behave with others. This is mainly because the puppy now has an idea of how much bite pressure is too much.
Now, just because you’ve got a puppy that is more than 10 weeks old doesn’t mean he has some discipline. He could be a singleton in which case he had no litter mates (which is sad).
It is always a good thing to take your puppy and allow it to socialize with other pups. They’ll play with each other, bite and learn more about how their bite works.
Be sure to check with your local trainer on how to select puppies for socialization. Learn about puppy body signals and know when to stop play if things go out of hand.
Socialization need not end with puppies alone. You can introduce more people to your puppy and let him get used to being around people. It would be a very good mental exercise to be around so many kinds of people than to be with the same lot.
Using Toys and Non-contact Games
In this method, distraction is the key.
When your puppy bites your hands hard, take a chewy toy in your other hand and wave across its face. The puppy will go after the toy instead and you can give her a treat for doing so.
Remember not to take your hand off when it bites. If you do, then the puppy will consider it a game and chase your hand and bite it again.
Many people have talked about how their puppies bite their ankles. This is also a common behavior among puppies. When they bite your ankles, be sure to distract them with a toy and teach this whenever they exhibit this behavior.
Non-contact games like tug-of-war can also be used. Use the tug-of-war toy and play with your puppy when he bites. Make sure that he doesn’t get too aggressive during the games as that can only be dangerous.
While playing games like tug-of-war, practice some commands like “let go” and “drop it”. This is crucial as you can make the puppy drop anything in its mouth by using these commands.
This is the last method you should use, but we have to accept that this is very effective.
Apply a bitter tasting substance in your hands when playing with your puppies. When your puppy bites it, she won’t like the taste of it and stop doing it right away.
By using this method, you are creating a bad taste in the puppy’s mouth and making sure it develops a non-biting habit on specific objects.
You can do this practice for about two weeks. Consider this the time a puppy takes to learn that particular objects are not for biting. Of course, you can cut it short if your puppy is a quick learner.
If your puppy has severe biting issues, then while trying this method make sure there is no water in the nearby area. This might sound a little extreme, but severe issues call for severe lessons.
You can also use a glove if you don’t want to apply the bitter substance directly on your hands. But if you have a smart puppy, then he’ll know the difference between the gloves and your hands. When there are no gloves, prepare yourself for the biting session.
Don’t Get Aggressive!
It is very easy to get frustrated when training a puppy not to bite. Don’t get aggressive when a puppy bites you hard. Aggressive behavior will only lead to aggressive reactions.
You’re not trying to make the puppy stop biting. That is impossible. You’re actually attempting to draw a line that tells the puppy how much biting pressure is good.
The idea of this entire training is to make the puppy understand the acceptable levels of biting. The puppy should be able to figure out that bad behavior will result in no play time. If you shout or hit your puppy for such behavior, there will be very little good coming out of it.
Puppies can sometimes get angry because of the way you handle it. This is serious than your usual biting from puppies. Imagine you reacting in an aggressive way to an already aggressive puppy. That is not going to end well.
The 10 Commandments for Training a Puppy Not to Bite:
These are some very simple and significant things to note when you are training your dog not to bite. Some of the points are repeated from above as they are crucial.
1. You can’t stop the biting. Always remember this. It is impossible. Puppies will continue to bite or chew as it is their way of going about things. You are only planning to inhibit the biting so that he or she will behave well when they are a fully grown dog.
2. Provide Lots of Interesting Toys. This will keep your puppy engaged most of the time. It will not have the time to think about biting you as it already busy with its toys. You can also include rubbery, chewy toys which can be used as distractions when your puppy is biting you.
3. Allow your puppy to socialize. What is better than letting your puppy know how hard it is to get a bite? It also will learn how other pups react when he bites them. You can also select vaccinated adult dogs as playmates as it’ll be a great learning experience for the puppy.
4. Hand-feed your dog. Hand-feeding is a great way to create a strong bond with your dog. You can also do this while giving him rewards for his good behavior. This, also, can teach the puppy how to deal politely with the hands which is great when there are guests in the house.
5. Give both physical and mental training. A puppy can be very bored when it is not active physically. You can play with him, take him out, and make sure he is occupied with something. This will not make the puppy seek attention through the means of biting or chewing.
6. Use a leash. You can use the leash the leash to control the puppy when walking outside. You need not hold the leash when it is under your control. But when you see it has started to misbehave, get hold of the leash and take control of your pet. This is a must if you’re going to take your not-so-trained puppy out for a walk.
7. Encourage the puppy to play with you. When your puppy bites, you can react in a lot of ways. But that should not send a message to the puppy that you’re not willing to play with you. In fact, playing more with the puppy can help you to know your puppy better and this will also help in the process.
8. Do not hit your pet. A lot of people give in to the sudden anger. But be sure that you are not going to hit your pet. That is not a good message to send to your puppy. If your puppy is either nervous or aggressive as a result of hitting, then you have a problem in your hands.
9. Give him treats for good behavior. Nothing talks to a puppy like positive reinforcement. Did he exhibit good behavior or listened to your command in the first try, be sure to give him a treat. Dogs love it and it is an excellent way to train your young friends.
10. Patience. After everything you’ve taught to your dog, be patient for the results to show up. Patience and consistency can help you achieve the desired results. Your puppy will now grow into an obedient dog, thanks to your patience.
If you were wondering how to stop your puppy from biting, then you must try out the methods that were mentioned above. These are proven techniques to train your puppy to stop biting.
In fact, there are some more extreme methods that we didn’t include for obvious reasons. Your puppy is a soft, cuddly being. Treating it right is the only way to teach it the right things.
Begin your training and let us know how it goes. If you have already started the training, let us know how much progress your puppy has made. Got any feedback or recommendations? Use the comment section below and talk to us.
Featured Photo Credit: Klanneke/depositphotos